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US State Department says Kerry’s visit to Moldova no substitute for visit to Ukraine

December 03, 2013, 9:27 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

From December 3 to December 6, Kerry will be making a tour of a number of foreign countries

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WASHINGTON, December 03. /ITAR-TASS/. US does not consider the forthcoming visit of State Secretary John Kerry to Moldova as an alternative to the visit to Ukraine, which has been cancelled, Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for US State Department said Tuesday.

She said it in an answer to questions from reporters who tried to tie up the changes in Kerry’s plans with the suspension of preparations for the signing of an agreement on association (AA) with the EU by the government in Kiev in contrast to the initialing of an AA by Moldova.

Psaki refuted the reporters’ supposition and said the trip had been scheduled before Moldova took the decision, adding that Moldovan authorities had launched a range of reforms in the previous few years aimed at developing the national economy.

From December 3 to December 6, Kerry will be making a tour of a number of foreign countries. In the first leg of it, he will go to Brussels to attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. The he will visit Chisinau to review US-Moldovan bilateral relations and the former Soviet republic’s progress along the path towards integration in the EU.

The last leg of his tour will take him to the Middle East for meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Kerry’s initial plans indicated he would take part in a ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) but then he changed them. Officials say now that the US delegation to the OSCE conference in Kiev will be led by the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland.

Psaki also touched upon the situation in Ukraine, saying Kerry had not spoken to his Ukrainian counterparts in the past few days, but she claimed all the same that integration in the EU is the most trustworthy method of developing the economy and democracy in Ukraine.

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